"This is not a simple request. This is not a statement. This is a demand," said Gerald Griggs of the Atlanta NAACP.
At a Friday afternoon news conference, the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP announced a boycott of the NFL due to the ongoing unemployment of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
"There will be no football in the state of Georgia if Colin Kaepernick is not on a training camp roster and given an opportunity to pursue his career," said Griggs.
Kaepernick has remained unsigned by an NFL team after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers. While it was thought that several teams were considering the former Super Bowl quarterback, none have given him a shot this year.
Last year, Kaepernick made headlines for his controversial decision to kneel rather than stand during the national anthem. Griggs said Kaepernick remained unsigned solely due to his silent boycott of the national anthem last season.
When asked about his decision, Kaepernick said, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
Kaepernick received significant levels of backlash for his silent protest, which have included fans burning his San Francisco jersey and fans demonstrating at 49ers games.
In response to the announced NAACP protest, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank issued a response late Friday afternoon.
"I have a long record of active opposition to any symbol or behavior that represents exclusion or discrimination, both personally and in keeping with the core values of our businesses," said Blank's statement said, in part. "I, along with our Family Foundation, the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United have never and will never waver from that stance."
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